Sorry, I need to rant here. I’m just now realizing that the Starter Kit has 3 U-channels, and the Competition Super Kit does not even have any. WIth the exception of 1 or 2 other parts that are minor, the U channel is a major structural part and I find it odd that something called a “Super” kit has more of every item EXCEPT for the U channel- there are none. Why is this !?!
Rant over and pulling out my credit card to purchase the 6 pack of U channels. And probably my luck, they’re backordered.
If it was that crucial to you, there is in fact a “Kit Contents” section of the Competition Super Kit page which I advise you look at next time to see what’s included; I personally analyzed every line of that list and kept inventory of the parts based on the contents. Sorry to hear about that though.
While I love the U channel i don’t believe that it can be considered a major structural part. Almost anything that you can do with a U channel, like verticality mount another channel, you can do through other means.
In a nutshell, the starter kit has the parts needed to make the pre-designed trainers such as the clawbot and the current season trainer build (the so-called herobots). Since only novice teams build these, novice teams getting started should get the starter kit to be able to build from the plans until they are familiar with the VEX system (which is the whole point of pre-designed trainers).
The super kit has a collection of parts which, especially when switching a team from cortex to V5 during the rollout, give experienced teams a good assortment of the most-used competition parts. Established competition teams don’t build the clawbot, so no need for the V5 claw, the piece of U-channel, or the oddly cut 2x2 angle that are used for the V5 clawbot build. Our organization has about 3 starter kits which we use when we have new teams forming, then I just buy the superkit (or individual parts) as the need for more parts arises.
I do wish they still published a second hero bot using parts from the super kit - the super kit is a great value for a new team if they have the budget (and it’s the kit we have for our grants to start new teams in schools), but they may still want to build the hero bot at the start of the season. Crunch and Moby, although designed to be built from the starter kit, could be built from the super kit instead pretty easily, but Disco less so.
I would say the vast majory of robots don’t use U channels. I used 4 five wide U channles last year and like 20 c-channels. If i didn’t have U channels i would have just designed around it which it seems you are doing.